As schools have shuttered over the past few days, I’ve fielded a lot of questions from friends about what exactly they should be doing in order to help kids keep learning as we enter a phase of social distancing. The answer is that, well, like everything these days, it’s complicated. Some school districts are rolling out long-distance learning plans, while others are saying that they will provide resources for continued student learning but that these experiences are merely suggestions and not required. Regardless of the plan offered by your school district, I do have some suggestions for how to structure your child’s learning to maximize results without driving yourself crazy.
Our Reading classes come to the library monthly for lessons and activities. Last month, our reading teachers requested that we develop a lesson on external text features -- think: bold print, italics, tables of contents, glossaries, etc. Text features are a fairly dry topic so we turned to one of our go-to instructional strategies: stations. Stations allow for lots of student movement, the ability for us as teachers to push into smaller groups that need extra support, and offer room for lots of differentiation. And, stations let us meet our goal: making text features a lot more accessible and a bit more interesting for our students.
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